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How to tame a cat

Animal rescue experts typically classify stray cats into three categories: socialized, semi-feral, and feral.

Socialized cats are fully domesticated and comfortable around humans, while feral cats have had little to no human contact and are basically wild animals.

Semi-feral cats fall somewhere in between. They tend to avoid being touched, but may vocalize when around humans or even make eye contact.

Although it is a slow, difficult process, taming a semi-feral cat is possible. These 6 steps will help you turn that frightened neighborhood kitty into a new furry friend!

Let the cat make the first move.

Ignoring an animal that you are trying to socialize may seem like silly advice, but according to Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies, snubbing a semi-feral kitty will pique its curiosity and force it to make the first move.

Waiting for the cat to reach out to you, then providing a positive interaction, will show it you can be trusted.

Keep her coming back for more.

The next step is to provide relaxed, non-threatening enrichment to ensure that the cat enjoys spending time with you and keeps coming back. Feline rescuers say the best time to initiate an interaction is during meal times. They also recommend providing treats and toys to encourage the cat to connect with you one-on-one.

Slowly desensitize her to life with humans.

Remember that many of the things we take for granted as typical aspects of life may be quite frightening to a semi-feral cat. Sounds like human voices, music, and opening and closing doors may send a nervous kitty running for the hills. Use feeding times as an opportunity to speak softly and perform slow, deliberate tasks in order to desensitize the cat and show it you are not a threat.

Respect her space.

Once you have welcomed your new semi-feral kitty into your home, there is still work to be done. The cat will be understandably nervous and require a place to hide when overwhelmed. This will help prevent her from feeling cornered.

At the same time, providing too much space can also be overwhelming and lead to trouble – especially with curious kittens. Robinson advises confining the animal to a small room with food, water and a litterbox. Be sure to kitty-proof the room first by removing anything fragile or potentially harmful – like wires that could be chewed.

Consider a calming remedy to help her with the transition.

Just as a hot bath and a cup of herbal tea can take the edge off a stressful day, providing a soothing remedy like catnip, pheromone sprays, or calming supplements may do the same for your new cat.

Alley Cat Allies recommends:

Alley Car Allies

Be patient!

While some semi-feral cats can be tamed in a matter of weeks, it usually takes several months or even an entire year before they completely come around. According to Robinson, almost all cats can be tamed, just remember to be patient, stick to a schedule, respect her natural needs, interact with her every day, and provide lots of treats!

This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years.

There are 17 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

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Taming a feral cat takes time, knowledge and patience coupled with extreme caution. A feral cat is a domesticated cat that has reverted to wild and is not socialized to humans. If the cat or kitten appears healthy and you wish to attempt taming it, keep in mind these cats will be scared of you and are likely to bite. However, if you find or are given a fearful or scared stray cat or kitten that tolerates some human interaction without biting, you can try to tame it to make it an acceptable cat. You may never make an indoor cat out of it, but it may become a good outdoor kitty that tolerates you. [1] X Research source Sometimes all that is needed is plenty of patience to turn a scared kitty into a marvelous pet. Your first goal should be to make it comfortable around you. Then the cat should be taken for a very important veterinary visit to make sure it is healthy.

Building homes, farms, and dungeons in Minecraft is a blast — but what’s a dream world without your favorite feline friend? If you want a pet to pal around with or to find waiting for you at home after a long day of mining for diamonds, you can tame a stray cat.

Difficulty

Duration

Taming a cat in Minecraft is pretty simple, but like any other task in the game, it isn’t spelled out for you.

Here’s our guide on how to tame a cat in Minecraft, including where to find stray cats and what they do once you adopt them.

Further reading

Where to find cats

There aren’t any animal adoption centers in Minecraft — you’re going to have to find a stray cat to bring home out in the wild. Luckily, cats are relatively easy to find. Stray cats spawn in villages with at least one villager and four beds. For each four beds in a village, a cat will spawn (up to 10), so you’ll likely have a variety of colors to choose from in an average village.

Black cats can also be found around witch huts in swamps.

In the Bedrock Edition of the game (the most common, modern version of the game on Xbox One, Windows, iOS, Android, and Nintendo Switch), black cats are more likely to spawn when there is a full moon.

How to tame a cat

Step 1: To tame a cat, first collect some raw cod or raw salmon from a nearby lake or river.

Step 2: Equip the raw fish and slowly approach a stray cat. Use the raw fish on the skeptical kitty.

Step 3: Continue to feed the cat more raw fish until hearts appear above its head, signifying it is being tamed. You will likely have to feed it multiple times to get it to like you, so stock up on fish before you attempt this.

Step 4: When the cat has been fed enough, the hearts will disappear and the cat will gain a collar. You now have a pet cat!

Cat behavior

Once you’ve successfully tamed a cat, it will follow you around wherever you go. If you lose track of your cat, don’t worry — they can teleport to a player who moves 12 blocks away. Unless commanded to sit, tamed cats do not remain still for long and explore around the player. You can tell a cat to sit and make it stay in one place — if you wanted an indoor cat to stay in your home, for example.

When in a house, cats will climb on top of furniture on their own accord. You can often find them sitting on top of chests, beds, and furnaces. Like real-life cats, cats in Minecraft can sometimes get in your way and render chests, furnaces, etc., unusable until you move them. If they get into something you don’t want them messing with, you can push them out of the way, lure them away with raw fish, or remove blocks underneath them to get them to move.

When a player goes to sleep at night, there’s a chance a tamed cat will sleep near them. When they awake, there’s a chance a pet cat will have a gift for you — they can collect string, raw chicken, a rabbit’s foot, and other items.

This Minecraft tutorial explains how to tame a cat with screenshots and step-by-step instructions.

In older versions of Minecraft, a cat was a type of mob that was created by taming an ocelot. However, in newer versions of the game, a cat is a new type of mob that is independent of the ocelot. Now, there are stray cats wandering around in the game that you can tame into pets (instead of taming an ocelot).

Let’s explore how to tame a cat.

Required Materials to Tame a Cat

In Minecraft, these are the materials you can use to tame a cat:

Steps to Tame a Cat

1. Find a Cat

Once you have the required materials, you will need to find a stray cat to tame.

If you are having trouble finding a stray cat, you can always summon a cat using a cheat or you can use a spawn egg.

2. Use the Raw Fish

You can tame a cat by giving it any kind of raw fish such as raw cod or raw salmon. In this tutorial, we will use raw salmon to tame the cat. To do this, place your raw salmon in the hotbar and make sure that it is the selected item in your hotbar.

Now you need to use the raw salmon. The game control to use the raw salmon depends on the version of Minecraft:

  • For Java Edition (PC/Mac), right click on the cat.
  • For Pocket Edition (PE), you move your pointer over the cat and press the Tame button.
  • For Xbox One, press the LT button on the Xbox controller.
  • For PS4, press the L2 button on the PS controller.
  • For Nintendo Switch, press the ZL button on the controller.
  • For Windows 10 Edition, right click on the cat.
  • For Education Edition, right click on the cat.

Once you feed the raw salmon to the cat, you will most likely see gray smoke appear above the cat. The cat is not yet tamed. Continue to feed the cat more raw fish until you see red hearts appear all around the cat. This means that the cat is being tamed.

Once the taming process is complete, the hearts will disappear and the cat will behave like your pet.

Feral cats (another name for homeless cats who have lived their entire lives outside) are born in the wild and thus have had very little contact with humans. Many animal lovers who find themselves in contact with a feral cat wonder if they can be domesticated, trained, and ultimately welcomed into their home as a pet, particularly if you’ve discovered a cat living outdoors in either cold weather or a heavily trafficked and/or potentially unsafe environment.

The good news is that, yes, feral cats can become your new live-in feline friend. But there are several very important steps that must be taken first, as domesticating a feral cat is certainly not a task for the faint at heart and will require an enormous amount of time and patience.

What to Do If You Find a Feral Cat

Whether it found its way into your yard or you frequently spot a particular homeless cat lurking around your neighborhood, if you somehow find yourself in the company of a feral cat, there are some steps you can take to ensure both your safety as well as the kitty’s. Keep in mind that because these cats have never had the pleasure of bonding with a human in any meaningful way, they often consider all people as large predators and are generally not afraid to act accordingly by biting, hissing, or even scratching or otherwise attacking you.

You should also never approach a cat that seems sick, even though you likely want to do everything in your power to help the poor kitty. If a feral cat has randomly shown up at your back door, there’s a decent chance he or she has rabies, and it’s far safer to call local animal control and avoid the risk of being bitten or scratched and requiring medical attention.

Above all, it’s important that anyone who considers taming a feral cat should know that it will likely take several weeks—or even longer if you’ve found a particularly skittish kitty—so patience is of utmost importance.

How to Tame a Feral Cat

There are several factors that will determine your ability to tame a feral cat, including the age and personality of the cat as well as what kinds of experiences the cat has had on the street (as well as the previous encounters they’ve had with other humans).

But there is one thing we humans have in our arsenal that will greatly increase your chances at training a feral cat—and that’s food. It’s widely understood that wild cats became domesticated in the first place because they became content with the idea of having access to regular meals, so if you’re thinking about taming a feral cat in your neighborhood, you’ll want to begin by establishing some sort of routine around food. For example, be sure to offer some cat food to the cat at the same time and in the same place every day, perhaps in a certain area on your porch or patio.

However, try not to make eye contact when you spot the cat (like dogs, eye contact can be perceived as a threat). Instead, remain still and quiet and either sit or stand quietly in the general vicinity while the kitty eats. After a few days, you can build up to speaking to your cat in a calm and reassuring voice.

If it seems like the cat is letting down its guard and beginning to trust you, try moving the food a little bit closer to you each day. You can also try offering a few special treats along with the meal. It’s important to keep in mind that you won’t want to touch the cat until you’re very confident that he or she will allow it. When you're ready to give it a go, try reaching out to pet the cat without making any sudden movements. If the cat backs away from your touch, give it a few days before trying again. Also try letting him or her sniff your finger beforehand. Eventually, you can gradually progress to petting the cat and even gently picking him up.

Safety and Other Considerations When Bringing Home a Feral Cat

While the next step may seem like you can finally open your door to your new feline friend, you’ll want to avoid bringing her inside, particularly if you have other pets (or children). Instead, take the cat to the veterinarian for a full checkup and vaccinations (it will, of course, require the cat trusting you enough to put her into a crate for the trip), as well as to be spayed or neutered. This step may take several attempts, but it’s absolutely essential for your healthy and safety as well as for your new cat’s.

If you have the all-clear from your vet and you’re ready to welcome your new kitty home, you’ll want to start with a special quiet, somewhat secluded space that’s set aside just for the cat. Consider furnishing your cat’s new living area with some cat trees and towers and scratching posts, as well as places to hide and sleep. And, of course, don’t forget the basics like a cat food and water bowl and a litter box. Fortunately, even cats who have spent their entire lives outdoors can generally grasp the concept pretty quickly.

Be sure to keep your interactions brief until your new cat seems comfortable with his or her new surroundings. In time, your new cat should forget their days on the street and be more than content to relax and play at home with their new family.